On this Memorial Day, I encourage everyone to show their appreciation for our troops. Not only because of their sacrifice and undying courage, but also because of what they go through during and after serving.
PTSD is fairly common for those who have seen combat and is a very serious mental illness. The things soldiers see, hear and experience while serving can create wounds so deep, they may never heal. PTSD, which stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is classified as an anxiety disorder and is experienced most commonly by those who have suffered assault-based trauma. Although this is the most common factor in developing PTSD, war veterans are also particularly susceptible due to the nature of their job.
Symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Having nightmares and flashbacks
- Experiencing panic and feeling you are constantly in danger
- Trouble relating to and getting along with loved ones
- Loss of interest/numbness
- Insomnia/difficulty sleeping
- Feeling jittery, anxious or irritated/jumpy
- Racing thoughts and difficulty concentrating
Let your prayers be with these veterans and their families today. I’ve seen firsthand how loss can affect both soldiers and those relatives of soldiers who have lost someone to war. There is little worse than losing your child in combat, and I’d like to take time to recognize on a personal note the loss of a young man named Ryane. He was a member of our church and was also only a day younger than me. He died when an RPG hit his convoy, killing him instantly. His loss has greatly affected his family, but it has also spurred them on to reach out to those who have also lost. They have become deeply involved in veterans’ affairs, and they are incredibly proud of their son’s service, as am I.
If you have the opportunity to thank a veteran today… DO SO. Better yet, if you have an opportunity to volunteer at a veterans center or other military-related charity, take the chance to do it! You will find it is a moving and rewarding experience.
Thank you, veterans. Thank you to those who are serving. Thank you to those who have lost their lives. Your service will always be remembered.